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Winter Wonderland Celebration at the Carefree Christmas Festival


CAREFREE – Carefree is soon to be transformed into a snowy Winter Wonderland. The Carefree Christmas Festival is set for Dec. 9-11 and will run 10 a.m.-9 p.m. that Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. that Sunday. Thirty-five tons of snow will be brought in for the festival.

Now in its ninth season, the annual event has become an iconic holiday celebration that offers merriment, entertainment, and fun for the whole family. The main events take center stage in the Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion at 100 Easy Street. On the evening of Dec. 10, an Electric Light Parade with a Holiday Fireworks Extravaganza will be featured, starting at 6 p.m.
Carefree’s four-acre desert botanical gardens provide a festive backdrop for the event, with plants and cacti illuminated for the festivities. Santa’s Grotto is open to visitors who want their picture with Mr. Claus, and children are invited to leave their Christmas lists in Santa’s mailbox. Mrs. Claus will visit for story time hour.

Renowned throughout the Valley for its expansive Kids’ Zone, families flock from all over to play in 35 tons of real snow at the Carefree Christmas Festival. Children and adults are invited to ride the snow slide and use the multiple sleds for all who wish to fly down the icy chute. Don’t miss seeing the snow sculpture created by famed artist-in-residence Ray Villafane.

Designed for all ages, the Carefree Christmas Festival’s other entertainment includes North Pole train rides throughout town, nighttime carriage rides, an inflatable bounce house, holiday face painting, and balloon animal making artists.  

Shoppers can visit the Holiday Gift Market presented by Magic Bird Festivals. The lighted holiday village offers daytime and late night shopping with nearly 100 artist booths and vendors, offering artisan designs, handcrafted jewelry, stocking stuffer gifts, boutique apparel, and gourmet confections.

Pets, dressed for the holidays, are invited to participate in the Sunday pet parade, and Foothills Animal Rescue pet adoptions will be available on site.

For information and an event schedule, visit or call (480) 488-2051.